Who Are You? (Joss Whedon)
This is probably my favourite ever episode of BtVS but it isn’t entirely perfect: the actors who play the three Watchers’ Council men may or may not be British but they sure sound awful and it’s distracting. Plus Adam…and the spit that runs down Buffy’s face.
As I write these reviews (notes?) I surf around the Internet for various reasons (in this case to find out the preferred terms for Faith and Buffy which I decided not to bother with) and I come across other websites and blogs that cover the same ground. I am constantly struck by the near hatred that BtVS can provoke. Some people are so angry, proprietorial, and demanding; it’s as if they believe the series and its creators personally owe them something. Season four and six are the targets of the most venom and I wonder why they bother with something that they dislike so much. Then I wonder if my gripes could be conceived the same way so in order to make it clear: I love BtVS and even the problems I have with season six don’t stop the love I have for it and all that came before it. Maybe any hatred I may have is reserved for season seven but I even though I have never seen an episode from that season again I still remember liking a lot of it. I have noticed a bit of the above coming out in reviews of the season eight comics with folk demanding less Andrew, who Amy’s boyfriend’s should be, etc, as if Joss and co should or could please everyone.
Here’s a list of reasons why it’s a favourite:
- Sarah Michelle Gellar is outstanding as Faith in Buffy’s body. Eliza Dushku doesn’t come close though she tries hard.
- Faith takes a bath and practises “because it’s wrong”
- “I am, you know.” “What?” “Yours”
- “On her way to the big house. Cops took her off my hands about an hour ago. Poetic justice.” “How's that?” “ Well, she did all those crimes, and now she's being arrested…I guess that's just regular justice.”
- Faith stabs Willow and I get all shivery when she stabs Willow where Buffy stabbed Faith.
“Well, I'm glad you called us all here because that information could never be conveyed by telephone.” I love the snark between Anya and Giles.
- “You know why I really hate you, Summers?” “Cause I'm a stuck-up tight-ass with no sense of fun?” “Well, yeah, that covers a lot of it.” “Cause I could do anything I want, and instead, I choose to pout and whine and feel the burden of slayerness? I mean, I could be rich, I could be famous, I could have anything. Anyone. Even you, Spike. I could ride you at a gallop until your legs buckled and your eyes rolled up. I've got muscles you've never even dreamed of. I could squeeze you until you popped like warm Champagne and you'd beg me to hurt you just a little bit more. And you know why I don't? Because it's wrong.” This scene is just incredible: just one more example of “how did they get away with that?”
- “So Willow's not driving stick anymore.” Heh, in two minutes Faith sees more than the Scoobies.
- Faith walks after the vampire and I just love the swishing sound as she picks up the pool cue.
- Faith is conflicted as the woman she has saved says thank you but surely Faith has heard gratitude before?
- “Yeah. You give her whatever she needs.” Meow.
- “She's not your friend.” “I may have overestimated the "you liking her" factor.” “No, no. I mean, I don't...I don't think she's...her.” “You lost me.” “Well, a person's energy has a flow, a unity. Buffy's was fragmented. It-it grated, like something forced in where it doesn't belong. Plus, she was, um, she was kind of mean.” In two minutes, Tara sees more than the Scoobies.
- “I-I think there's a way we can, hmm...The passage to the nether realm. There-there's a ritual. If you can find Buffy there, you should be able to see.” “If it'll help her. What?” “Well, the nether realm exists beyond the physical world. Accessing it is...It-it's kind of like astral projection. It's very intense. I'd have to be your anchor, keep you on this plane. “I trust you.” “It-it's not like anything that we've ever…” “I trust you.”
- Riley, Riley, Riley, make a note of this: if your girlfriend comes on to you in a weird and out-there manner and she has never behaved like that before. Ask yourself is she all right? Is her mind where it should be? Is she herself?
- Okay, the Nether Realms ritual is just a spell. Oh all right, it isn’t, it’s a metaphor for sex. So magic = sex not magic = addiction, right? Anyway, it’s an outrageous scene that is in truth rather explicit because in most love scenes on TV we don’t usually see a participant actually have a (flaming) o.
- Faith is in turmoil after having sex with Riley. What are we to think? Is she amazed by his tenderness? By his profession of love? By how much she enjoyed it? Was her mind invaded by Willow?
- “Yeah, you're a killer.” “I am not a killer! I am the Slayer! And you don't know the first thing about me.”
- “Who's president?” “We're checking for Buffy, not a concussion.” …“Giles, you turned into a demon and I knew it was you! I mean, can't you just look in my eyes and be all … intuitive?” … “How did I turn into a demon?” “Oh! Cause, uh, Ethan Rayne. And-and you have a girlfriend named Olivia. And you haven't had a job since we blew up the school…which is valid, lifestyle wise. I mean, it's not like you're a slacker type, but … Oh, oh! When I had psychic power, I heard my mom think that you were like a stevedore during sex. Do you want me to continue?” “Actually, I beg you to stop.” “What's a stevedore?”
- Riley was on his way to church.
- “Damn it, man! We have to get inside! Our, uh, uh, families are-are in there! Our, uh, m-mothers and-and tiny, tiny babies!”
- “You're nothing! Disgusting! Murderous bitch! You're nothing! You're disgusting!” I feel it’s a shame that Five by Five and Sanctuary were basically rehashes of This Year’s Girl and Who Are You? because I was looking forward to much more than we did get.